Napoleons Casino and Restaurant on Ecclesall Road have been enjoying great success with their personally designed summer cocktail menu which launched in July this year. Now, with plans to unveil a new winter menu as well, Exposed caught up with Will and Adam, the two men behind it all…
What’s your background in cocktail making?
A: I started at Napoleons about a year and a half ago but I’ve worked in clubs and bars since I was 16, so it’s an industry I’d say I know quite well. I wanted something more challenging though, so I moved to Napoleons. When I got here the cocktail menu wasn’t great, only four or five different options so I looked at it as my chance to help improve that.
W: I worked for a catering agency from when I was 16 and in bars and nightclubs, until I moved to Sheffield a year ago. I spent some time in Barcelona at the European Bartender School to get my qualifications for this type of bar work. I was there for four weeks, in the school every day. It was intensive.
Will, you designed the summer menu. Where did your ideas come from?
We wanted to keep it seasonal, make really refreshing, summery drinks. A lot of them are heavily fruit based rather than using things like coke or lemonade. And we’ll change it up for winter soon with cocktails that will warm you up rather than refresh you. We’ll have some themed ones as well for Halloween and Christmas.
What’s proving popular amongst the current menu?
A: Obviously the classics do well, your Margheritas, Cosmopolitans, Mojitos etc. The Expresso Martini goes down well and the June Bug is good for those with a sweet tooth.
What are your personal favourites?
W: The Midori Sour is pretty nice, very sweet.
A: I’d have to go for the Mai Tai. It’s a rum based drink – small but with a good kick.
Any cocktail making tips and tricks?
A: Everyone has their own spin on it. Knowing your customer helps, getting to know people and listening to them. It gives both you and them more option, you can suggest things and they can try different things that they might not necessarily have tried before.
W: I just like to be cheeky, I’ll make it how I want to and everyone likes it!
What’s the customer feedback been like?
A: It’s been excellent. We’ve had a lot more regulars in since the menu launched, people coming back specifically for the cocktails. We have a good relationship with our regulars.
And you’ve got a 2-4-1 offer, tell us about that.
W: It’s our platinum offer. When you sign up for our platinum membership you get two for one cocktails all day, every day from our classics menu. It’s completely free and only takes five minutes, we must have signed up about 100 people by now.
And we hear there’s talk of holding some cocktail masterclasses as well?
A: We’re looking at doing parties, hen dos that kind of thing. It’s become a bit of a craze in bars recently, people trying their hand at it themselves and the customer interaction is great. We’ll have some food, add some games in and stuff… people are here to have fun and so we want to make it an enjoyable experience. Potentially it could start next month.
25ml lemon juice
12.5ml sugar syrup
30ml egg white
2 drops of angustora bitter
Dry shake, shake and strain
Serve over cubed ice
Shot of vodka (37.5%)
50ml pineapple juice
Shake well and strain
Serve in a martini glass
See www.napoleons-casinos.co.uk/sheffield-ecclesall for more.